Letter to the Editor

About that PFD

To the editor: In the five years since Senate Bill 21 passed, the state of Alaska has been paying subsidies to the oil companies. Huge subsidies. We are supposed to be getting new wells and additional oil in the pipeline in return for those subsidies, but Joe Paskvan and Ray Metcalf and others have pointed out that we are not. Paskvan further pointed out (News-Miner, Sept. 10) that Alaska has actually lost money from the oil biz in three of the five years since SB21 went into effect. This is called a “negative production tax,” which is a cute way to say “rip-off.” I was right here in 1969 when the original oil leases went through, and I never in a million years would have believed Alaskans would one day be paying the oil corporations to take our oil off our property.

It was announced today that we are all getting a $1,606 PFD check, reduced from the $2,900 that the formula would normally specify. It turns out that the amount we are paying out in subsidies matches the “missing” PFD money, roughly $1 billion ($1,300 times 631,000 Alaskans). Gov. Mike Dunleavy and Sen. Kevin Meyer and every other Republican who voted to pass SB21 will try and convince you that the PFD checks are being garnished to pay for education and roads and whatnot, but the cold fact is that the PFD checks are being garnished to pay for the oil subsidies.

I still see vehicles around town with a “Like your PFD check? Vote NO on 1” bumper stickers. The drivers are sadly unaware that the money for the PFD checks comes from fund earnings (real estate, stocks and whatnot) and not from the oil corporations. The irony of this is that the failure to repeal SB21 is precisely why our PFD checks are being garnished today.

To repeat: All of the PFD checks are being garnished to pay subsidies to some of the richest corporations on Earth, and that money goes straight Outside as corporate profit. Do they deserve that money more than you do?

Guidelines

The Daily News-Miner encourages residents to make themselves heard through the Opinion pages. Readers' letters and columns also appear online at newsminer.com. Contact the editor with questions at letters@newsminer.com or call 459-7574.

Community Perspective

Send Community Perspective submissions by mail (P.O. Box 70710, Fairbanks AK 99707) or via email (letters@newsminer.com). Submissions must be 500 to 750 words. Columns are welcome on a wide range of issues and should be well-written and well-researched with attribution of sources. Include a full name, email address, daytime telephone number and headshot photograph suitable for publication (email jpg or tiff files at 150 dpi.) You may also schedule a photo to be taken at the News-Miner office. The News-Miner reserves the right to edit submissions or to reject those of poor quality or taste without consulting the writer.

Letters to the editor

Send letters to the editor by mail (P.O. Box 70710, Fairbanks AK 99707), by fax (907-452-7917) or via email (letters@newsminer.com). Writers are limited to one letter every two weeks (14 days.) All letters must contain no more than 350 words and include a full name (no abbreviation), daytime and evening phone numbers and physical address. (If no phone, then provide a mailing address or email address.) The Daily News-Miner reserves the right to edit or reject letters without consulting the writer.

Submit your news & photos

Let us know what you're seeing and hearing around the community.